Category Archives: Tomatoes

April makes me crazy

There has been snow in April the last 2 years. So, we’re holding back. There is a threat of near freezing/potential snow this weekend. It was 84ºF on Monday.

We have 6 types of tomatoes in the grow room/pantry/attic/3rd bedroom waiting until the end of April to go in the ground. There are Better Boys for sandwiches, Cherokee Purple for salads, Golden Jubilee and Hawaiian Pineapple yellow varieties for Chuck, Grape and Indigo Blue cherry sized varieties for both of us. (I don’t dislike the yellow ones. He’s just particularly fond of them.)

I have 4 jalapeno plants waiting, too. We’ll plant Brandywine okra, Delicata and Pattypan squash and Hamby pole beans directly into the raised beds.

The new Martha Washington asparagus is coming up nicely. I’m hoping for a nice crop next year when we can finally harvest from the raised bed.

We have taken apart the herb bed and used the blocks to edge the front flowerbed. We didn’t have enough blocks and Lowe’s isn’t carrying that style anymore. So, I filled in gaps with stones from the disassembled labyrinth. It needs mulch.

I am expanding the little planting area around the well. A circle has been requested. Cannas will be moved from the side of the house to that bed when I have the grass dug out.

Chuck has been removing the grass-laden mulch from the outer ring of the defunct labyrinth. When we take up the ineffectual weed barrier, it will be seeded with clover. When I finish tweaking the front, I’ll manage the second ring that we intend to use for herbs and flowers. I’ve already got resurrection lilies and foxgloves transplanted there.

2016-05-03 10.19.06

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Filed under Asparagus, Beans, Flowers, Legumes, Okra, Peppers, planting, Squash, Tomatoes

New Seeds

From Sow True:

Delicata Winter Squash

Dwarf Blue Curl Scotch Kale

Brandywine Yellow Tomato

Spring Rapini Broccoli Raab

From Southern Exposure Seed Exchange:

Yellow Pear Tomato

Arkansas Little Leaf Pickling Cucumber

And I have planted Georgia Southern Collard seeds from Botanical Interests.

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Filed under Broccoli, Collards, Cucumbers, Kale, planting, Squash, Tomatoes

Tastiness abounding

We have tomatoes galore.  I have canned 2 pints of Romas and have been eating Bulgarians on sandwiches.  I have used the Russian Black Tulas in salads.  And we have been eating the cherry tomatoes jut as snacks.

I love summer.

We planted less okra this year, so we are only eating it every 3 or 4 days.  I think this means we are less likely to get foundered on them.

The sweet potatoes are healthy with one potato trying to peek out of the dirt.

The turmeric is healthy.

A friend had a piece of ginger starting to grow a root.  I traded it for a piece of ginger that I bought withOUT a root growing and it put out green in about a week.

We have apples ripening.  The lovely red is visible from inside the house.

I think I got the second planting of Yukon Golds in the ground too late.  The first planting froze and the second has hardly any green.

There are nuts on 3 or 4 of the hazelnut bushes.  The rest appear to be males.  Dammit.

The berries are done.  It was a great year for them and I am sated.

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Filed under Apples, Ginger and Turmeric, hazelnuts, Okra, Sweet potatoes, Tomatoes, White potatoes

First Freeze?

We may be in for a different winter this year.  There is a freeze, not frost, warning out for tonight and I had to get the cold frame covers out of summer hibernation.  I had intended to get them out this past weekend and do some maintenance/reinforcing, but Sandy’s wind and rain made that a poor choice.  In any case they are on and will hopefully do their job.  It was late November before we needed them last year.

I took some photos of the “crops” before I covered them.  We have been enjoying all the salad we can eat with mixed lettuce, arugula and spinach.

The far end of the above bed also has some pepper plants still producing, but I fear the cold will shut them down pretty soon.

This bed has swiss chard and three kinds of kale plus some spinach on the side.

This one has turnips and beets with some arugula at the ends.

This one has brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, all coming along very slowly.  The cover buckwheat crowded out the new starts at first and I am hoping they make a comeback with the extended season covers.

This is our spaghetti squash tree.  The vines climbed the crepe myrtle and also latched on to the fence.

There was a volunteer sweet 100 grape tomato plant that I was letting grow in the greens bed that started very late in the season.  With the freeze coming I harvested all the fruit and have put a couple of bananas in the basket to hasten the ripening process.  Maybe fresh tomato candy for Thanksgiving?

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Filed under Arugula, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chard, Kale, Lettuce, Root Vegetables, Spinach, Squash, Tomatoes, Vegetables

Garden Update

Been a while since I last posted here. There has been mostly eating, though the summer returns have been a bit sporadic. The early excessive heat and the inconsistent rain has had it’s effect on production. The summer squash finally ran it’s course and I was pretty much ready. I was a bit tired of it. I expect that I will not plant so much of it next spring. We are into Fall and Winter planting right now and I have added two new beds. Lowes had self-contained kits on sale made of cedar, so I thought I would give them a try. I have planted buckwheat in one for the bees to forage during the slow season.

They have been a bit slow in finding it, but have been more interested lately.  Kitty pulled the feeders from the hives about a week ago.  We are watching to see how they do now that Goldenrod is plentiful and they have Buckwheat just outside their front doors.  This morning I planted more Buckwheat in the mulch between five of the Hazelnut bushes just to see if it will sprout there.  If so, I will plant more.  It grows quickly and lasts until the first frost and is supposed to be a great green compost.

Moving on to the new stuff.  Last month I planted Butternut and Spaghetti squash in the other new bed.  It is about to take over the yard.  There is already fruit and many blossoms.  I tend to prefer the winter squash varieties over the summer.

In the bed beside the Buckwheat, I have planted carrots, beets and turnips.  In the bed beside the squash, I have planted cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli.  In the other upper bed I have planted three varieties of kale.  That bed still has thriving chard and a leftover okra plant that is still producing.

In the last lower bed I have planted lettuce, arugula and spinach.  Yesterday I planted peas in the cinder block holes along one whole side of that bed.  The rest of the okra plants doing fine and I expect them to keep producing for a few more weeks.  I have also planted Parsnips in the half of the cinder block holes in that bed.
We had mixed results with tomatoes.  The corner bed away from the raised beds produced wonderful German Johnsons and some very tasty Cherokee Purples, but the plants in the beds seemed to wilt in the early heat.  We are still enjoying tomatoes and have been able to share with family and friends.
I planted Buckwheat in some of the other beds.  The one below is where the cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli have been planted.  You can see the greyish leaves of the returning brussel sprouts plants that I just cut back in the middle of the summer.  I am a bit concerned that the Buckwheat will impair the sprouting of the new stuff.
Anyway, that’s pretty much it for now.

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Filed under Arugula, Bees, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chard, hazelnuts, Kale, Lettuce, Okra, planting, Root Vegetables, Spinach, Squash, Tomatoes, Vegetables

Update May 27th

Garden status with pictures.  This one is going to be kinda long.  Showing fruit trees too.

Serious peas.  We tend to just graze on them right out of the pod like candy.

Squash and Eggplant were overpowering the Okra, so I have attempted to transplant them to the bed where the cabbage was.

Moved seven of them.  Hoping they will bounce back with a little watering.  Tomatoes and peppers in there too.  Harvested what was left of the cabbage to make room for the Okra.

Arugula and Fava beans are doing great.  Been eating arugula for a while now.

Cantaloupe is in a different location, but is coming along.  Tomatoes are still behind where I expected them to be based on the warm Spring.  They are healthy and when they do come in we are going to have way more than we can eat.

We expected our fruit trees to do better this year, especially with the new bee hives.  Most of them bloomed out very early and then the April freezes came.  We covered what we could, but I think the cold nipped them at a vulnerable time.  We had peaches starting, but they disappeared except for one sick looking one.  We have very few cherries and only a couple of damson plums on one of the three plum trees.

The orange tree, however, is looking pretty good.

Herbs in pots on the deck are doing fine.

Also picked chard and brussels sprouts today.

And yes the bees look great today, especially Isabella.  Just looked in on them.  You would never guess that hive swarmed a week ago based on the number of bees.

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Filed under Arugula, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Chard, Cherry, Eggplant, Fruit and berries, Herbs, Legumes, Melons, Okra, orchard, Peach, Pear, Peppers, Squash, Tomatoes, Vegetables

Update May 13

This is a garden update, more for me than a hey look what what I have post.

Red romaine at the top that we will need to eat pretty soon before it gets too hot. Swiss chard at either end and a little spinach on the near side. Main bed has summer squash, zucchini, eggplant and okra. The okra has hardly sprouted and is getting overwhelmed by the rest. Hopefully it will be strong late after the rest has played out.

Pea vines, very young tomato plants and arugula on both ends. No peas to eat yet. Still hoping they come in before the real heat comes. Definitely better growth than last Spring.

Finally getting small cabbage heads. We will eat these soon. Don’t expect them to get much bigger. Peppers at the far end have been very slow, but since they like the heat, we look forward to them later. Wilted volunteer tomato plants in the middle transplanted today from the swiss chard plantings where they came up unsolicited. Hoping that most will make it.

Brussels sprouts still going strong. Fava beans growing well and flowering. More mature tomato plants in the rest of the bed.

Roasted brussels sprouts….it’s what’s for dinner.

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Filed under Arugula, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Eggplant, Legumes, Lettuce, Okra, Peppers, Squash, Tomatoes, Vegetables